Let’s face it, nowadays, most of us are buying at least something, if not nearly everything, online. We are slaves to 2-day delivery and the ability to order anything imaginable from the comfort of our homes. Given this shift, it is crucial that businesses offer their customers the ultimate online buying experience. Here is some of our best advice for improving your customer’s ecommerce shopping experience.
Personalize the User Experience
Personalizing the user's experience is all about finding ways to get relevant content and product offerings in front of your ideal audience. A personalized ecommerce user experience utilizes your site visitors previous actions, demographics and other personal data to provide individualized offers, product recommendations and other content. To create a truly personalized experience, you will need to get to know your customers. Collect their information through forms on your website, information acquired through analytics and previous purchases. Collecting data will help you to improve the relevancy of the content that you put before your audience. Work on identifying similarities between customers to help you better predict the shopping experience your visitors are looking for. Utilizing the actions of previous customers will help you to see parallels and draw conclusions based on their behaviors. Aligning the interests of previous and current customers will help provide the optimal shopping experience.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to keep customers engaged. By personalizing your email outreach before, during and after their purchase process, you can help to move things along, as well and solidify their purchase. Another way to personalize a user's experience is through product recommendations. This tactic recommends products that your customers are likely to enjoy by utilizing their past and present shopping behavior, as well as the behaviors of other shoppers. For example, if a shopper purchases a pair of sneakers, perhaps you recommend adding a pair of socks to their cart. This feature can be incorporated in follow up emails, during the shopping process and even right as they are checking out. Use data you have collected about previous shoppers experiences to put products in front of them that other people have bought when they have looked at what they are looking at.
Organize Your Products Strategically
Tailoring each individual’s buying experience is not as complex as it sounds. Creating a truly intuitive experience is all about the way you choose to organize your ecommerce platform. You are looking to curate their experience based on your expertise and data collection. Make it easy for customers to find what they need by having a clear and easily visible navigation. Make sure that your navigation items break down into easily understandable categories to give shoppers the chance to seamlessly search their way through your products.
It is crucial that you incorporate a search feature on your ecommerce site. Search is the gateway to help customers find what they need on the site and should never be an optional feature. Customers enjoy a more detailed system where they can sort items based on their individual needs. Use facets in the sidebar to give shoppers the option to narrow down their selections and refine options based on the attributes of your products.
Provide an Intuitive Checkout Process
The checkout process is your opportunity to really shine. Keeping the checkout process simple and intuitive will encourage your customers to keep coming back. People enjoy and appreciate online transactions that are straightforward. Here are some ways to improve your checkout experience and impress your site visitors:
Make sure that the shopping cart and total can be easily accessed at any time
Make it easy for customers to add and delete items from their cart
Utilize the opportunity to upsell and help customers through recommended products
Offer the option to create an account and save their details for a later checkout
Make sure that shipping costs are clear and obvious
The length of your checkout process can play a major role in the buying experience. It is critical that you keep the checkout process as simple and intuitive as possible. The more pages include and questions you ask could potentially drive shoppers away.
In fact, statistics show that 1 out of every 4 shoppers has abandoned a cart because the checkout process was too long and complicated.
Utilize Customer Reviews
When is the last time you purchased a product online without taking a look at the customer reviews, or at least peaking at the star count? Customer reviews give shoppers the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences. People value the opinions of others and truly appreciate the unbiased advice they receive through customer reviews. You will also find that customer reviews help build the credibility of your brand and products. Encourage shoppers to review your products and give them multiple opportunities to provide this feedback. Customer reviews also give your business the opportunity to learn and grow internally. There is no better way to understand your strengths and weaknesses than from your consumers themselves.
Keep Customers Updated
A customer’s shopping experience is not over once they’ve placed their order. Directly after their purchase has been made, an email should be sent with all of their transaction details. Make sure you are enthusiastic about their purchase and they have all of the information they need to track their order, as well as an email and phone number for customer services purposes. After they have received their order, encourage them to provide reviews of your products. You can even give them recommendations for related products that they might be interested in for future purchases.
Never Forget to Provide Ongoing Customer Service
No matter how seamless of a shopping experience you provide, you have to give your customers the opportunity to reach out with their comments, questions and concerns. Quality customer service is the key to ecommerce success. Customer service is no longer just for dealing with disgruntled callers and providing refunds, it is the greatest opportunity you have to interact with your customers to keep them happy and coming back for more.
Everyone makes mistakes, it's how you handle these and how you choose to make up for them that counts. As long as you can reliably make whatever is wrong, right, customer’s will gladly remain loyal to your products. Trying to constantly obtain new customers is exhausting and unrealistic, why not just work to keep the customers you have happy? By seeking 100% customer satisfaction, you’ll never have to market your business again, your customers will gladly do it for you, expressing their delight all over town.